Precious and Mike Khoza from Riverside View taste wine at the Tops at Spar Wine Show presented by ‘The Star’, held at Montecasino over 3 days, 25-27May 2017. Picture: Karen Sandison.

Why pairing the right wine with the right glass is so important

What's in a glass? Well,when it comes to wine, every-thing. Using the correct glass for your wine may enhance the flavours, improve the aromas and even help maintain the correct temperature, taking your wine-drinking experience from drab to fab.

“If you’ve ever tried wine in a small, thick-rimmed glass, porcelain coffee mug or your beer pong plastic tumbler, you’ll know that you can drink pretty much
any beverage out of any vessel...except for wine. When it comes to wine, the correct glassware is an absolute must. This allows you to make the most out of your wine, enhancing every aspect of the bottle so that what you read on the label pairs perfectly with what you taste on your palate,” says Robert Greene, Director of Core Catering.

Matching the correct wine to the correct glass can be overwhelming, but Greene says following a few simple rules will have you seeing your wine through
rosé-tinted glasses in no time.
Big reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz need glasses with big bowls to allow the wines to oxidise, and big mouths to release their strong aromas.
Soft reds like Pinot Noir and Merlot also need glasses with large bowls to allow for oxidation, but because they’re softer wines, a narrower mouth is necessary to concentrate the aromas.
White wine glasses are typically smaller than their red counterparts. Spirited whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chardonnay are served in glasses with slightly large bowls that narrow at the mouth, while delicate whites like Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer require narrow bowls and narrow openings.

“The white wine glass bowl is smaller to help keep chilled whites cooler for longer, while the narrower opening concentrates the subtler white aromas,” notes Greene.

We’re all familiar with the classic sparkling wine flute. Its elongated shape provides a good-sized serving for sparkling wine, maintains the temperature and concentrates the delicate aromas, all the while allowing you to enjoy what Greene calls ‘the theatre of the bubbles’.

There is a second glass used for sparkling wine – the saucer or coupe. Although this vintage glass doesn’t hold the temperature for long, allows the aroma to escape and doesn’t let you enjoy the bubble show, this Gatsby-era glass is making a comeback, and once again becoming popular for serving sparkling wine and even cocktails.

Dessert wine is always served in a small glass with an elongated, narrow bowl and a narrow mouth, maintaining its cool temperature and concentrating
its sweet aromas.
Now that that’s sorted, what about some of the more intricate details, like is it called glassware or stemware, and which is better, crystal or glass?
“All glass manufactured with a stem, like wine glasses, is referred to as stemware. This simply distinguishes this glassware from others like tumblers or mugs.

“Leaded and unleaded crystal are said to provide significantly enhanced wine-tasting experiences by offering superior temperature control and the ability to accentuate the aromas and flavours of the wine. However, crystal comes with a much higher price tag than glass, putting it out of reach of many wine lovers,” says Greene.

Core Catering specialises in glassware, and will showcase its wine glasses at Winederland at the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show presented by Pretoria News, which takes place from 24 to 26 August 2017 at Menlyn Park Shopping Centre.

Among these expect to see the highly affordable Eminance range, which contains all the essential stemware you need for the ultimate wine enjoyment.

No matter which wine you drink, correctly pairing your stemware and wine means you will always see your (wine) glass half-full!

Watch how wine is made